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Lemon Chicken & Rice Soup Recipe

Lemon Chicken & Rice Soup Recipe

Years ago, I fell hard for a lemony Greek soup at Panera Bread. It was just a special back then, and I re-created it at home so we could eat it whenever a craving hit! —Kristin Cherry, Bothell, Washington
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. Cook: 4-1/4 hours YIELD:12 servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 5 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 8 cups coarsely chopped Swiss chard, kale or spinach
  • 2 large carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 medium lemon, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice


  • 1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add half of the chicken; cook and stir until browned. Transfer to a 6-qt. slow cooker. Repeat with remaining oil and chicken.
  • 2. Stir broth, vegetables, lemon slices, lemon juice, peel and pepper into chicken. Cook, covered, on low 4-5 hours or until chicken is tender. Stir in rice; heat through. Yield: 12 servings (4 quarts).

Nutritional Facts

1-1/3 cups: 203 calories, 5g fat (1g saturated fat), 42mg cholesterol, 612mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 2g fiber), 20g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 lean meat, 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 1/2 fat.

Reviews for Lemon Chicken & Rice Soup

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mommylu User ID: 5317722 253734
Reviewed Sep. 5, 2016

"My family loves this soup. I added 1/2 tsp. salt and used 6 cups of chicken broth and 4 cups of water. I used kale and will continue to...I don't think spinach would hold up well enough and the kale added great texture. I wash my lemons thoroughly and didn't notice any bitterness. The lemon was a great flavor, not too much at all if you like lemon. I also didn't add the rice to the full pot of soup, but instead added it to each dish before ladling the soup on top. I plan to freeze some of the leftovers and thought it would reheat better this way."

JCV4 User ID: 628113 242517
Reviewed Jan. 25, 2016

"This soup is VERY lemony! It was good, but if I make it again I will omit the thinly sliced lemon."

AWayOfLife User ID: 5990469 123603
Reviewed Oct. 18, 2014

"Soup was bitter. It had no favor. I would not make it again. To much rice in the recipe."

Paulette419 User ID: 4792564 126815
Reviewed Jul. 8, 2014

"Loved this recipe!"

CatMurphy User ID: 7117971 126814
Reviewed Mar. 23, 2014

"This was extremely too bitter for my tastes. I suggest using a quarter of the sliced lemon or maybe none at all."

MY REVIEW User ID: 77962 123584
Reviewed Mar. 12, 2014

"This was pretty good, extremely lemony and a bit sour if you like that. I used orzo instead of rice, for speed of preparation. Kind of a refreshingly sour, bright taste. We didn't rave about it, but if I had lots of lemons on hand I would probably make it again."

gucci65 User ID: 7131119 182172
Reviewed Feb. 27, 2014

"After being sick for almost two month I decided to make this. I used preserved lemons instead and orzo. It was delish !!!!!!"

ahmom User ID: 3426126 198435
Reviewed Feb. 25, 2014

"very good!"

spinardo User ID: 2339635 199471
Reviewed Feb. 22, 2014

"Yum! This soup was fabulous. Love the lemon kick to it. This is my new favorite chicken soup. I actually like it a lot better with rice than with noodles. My family loved it."

wasoongu User ID: 1077273 197456
Reviewed Feb. 19, 2014

"Good. The flavor wasn't as *wow* as I would have liked, but I suppose more spices, herbs or salt can be added to help with that. With some rustic homemade wheat bread, it was a very soul-satisfying meal. I wanted to avoid the bitterness that other reviewers had noticed in their soup, so I made sure I washed the lemon very thoroughly before using it. It is probably the lemon peel sitting in the stock so long that is causing the bitterness, so I also didn't add the lemon slices until halfway through the cooking time (and threw them out before storing the leftovers in the fridge). These strategies worked well. No bitterness -- just a pleasantly subtle lemon flavor."

mimicotom User ID: 2516523 213231
Reviewed Feb. 17, 2014

"I sped up the cooking time by using already cooked chicken and brown minute rice that I put directly into the pot. Then I simmered it on low heat for 2 hours on my stove. Yummy! This recipe falls into the 'do over' category at my house. Thanks for submitting."

jessie.knott User ID: 4631708 197278
Reviewed Feb. 16, 2014

"We used frozen chopped spinach and made mostly as written. The two changes I made were: on the stove instead of crockpot, and added uncooked rice instead of already cooked. This was not bitter at all. In fact it wasn't real strong lemony. I could have squeezed a lemon slice on each bowl. I did take the lemon slices out to store it. My family all ate it (ages 2, 4 picky hubby and me) and we wasted none."

ckab User ID: 7674058 188376
Reviewed Feb. 15, 2014

"We could not eat this soup because the taste of lemon and lemon peal was so strong and bitter. There was little flavor and it needed seasoning. We are trying to salvage the vegetables by draining off the (lemon) broth and starting with new chicken broth. Taste of Home has an excellent recipe reputation so we were totally surprised with the very poor results."

tiger976 User ID: 5773271 213230
Reviewed Feb. 9, 2014

"I should have known from the reviews that this was going to taste bitter, and it was. I used fresh spinach and did NOT put in the 4 tsp. grated lemon peel. Besides that I changed nothing. The soup is inedible BUT I will save some of the veggies & chicken for tomorrows lunch, only saving that because I'm trying to loose a few Lbs. quick. Tip, DO NOT waste you time or money on this recipe, even if your a lemon lover like I am."

goolie User ID: 75185 126813
Reviewed Feb. 8, 2014

"I LOVE this soup. If you don't like lemon then don't make it. I added two chopped celery stix to it and was tempted to add a can of crushed tomatoes, but resisted. I didn't use my crock pot and just simmered the soup on the stove. I cut the thinly sliced lemon slices in half because I didn't want them falling off the soup spoon. I will be making this again."

aibrahim User ID: 7651626 199466
Reviewed Feb. 3, 2014

"This soup was very good, except mine too was bitter. I used kale and swiss chard. I think it is the lemon peel, because I researched and kale and chard are not bitter. Next time I would just do lemon juice."

quisp1 User ID: 4330712 213229
Reviewed Jan. 28, 2014

"I made this soup in my crock pot and used kale. Perhaps I had too much kale or cooked it too long, but the soup was quite bitter in the end....I would try it again, but perhaps use spinach the next time."

Bakerj User ID: 4200567 117055
Reviewed Jan. 28, 2014

"I made this soup yesterday and we liked it. It was refreshing to have the taste of lemon in the soup. I used leftover brown rice--just put about 1/3 cup rice it the soup bowl then added the soup. Tasty. I'm sure I'll make this again, I love lemon."

aug2295 User ID: 4631582 198431
Reviewed Jan. 25, 2014

"This came together easily and smelled great in the slow cooker. I haven't had this soup from the panera, but I enjoyed the recipe and will make again. I swapped the swiss chard for 3 stalks celery. Nutritonal info shows it's really healthy, which is a nice bonus with so much flavor."

maryannet User ID: 1456288 138332
Reviewed Jan. 24, 2014

"Good filling soup. I cut the recipe down to four cups broth."

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